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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Feb 6, 2007 4:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

I am visiting Vegas for the first time in many years and decided to go visit the Alladin Hotel where I had seen shows in '81, '83 and '84. I was saddened to see that the hotel has been sold to Planet Hollywood.

I saw the Dead from 1977 - '95 and from Maine to Alaska, Minnesota to Florida and even saw the Garcia Band and Weir/Wasserman Accoustic in Hawaii, but going to the Aladdin was unlike any other Dead experience I ever had. One year, I believe it was '83, the marquee read "WAYNE NEWTON" (in big bold letters) and underneath in small writing "and appearing tonight: The Grateful Dead". Vegas did not have a very large contingent of Deadheads so there wasn't really much of a local scene there and the vast majority of the fans were from out of town. The shows there were basically Deadhead conventions. Unlike other shows, this one took place in the hotel and the Heads comandeered the whole place, so virtually every room was occupied by us. My friends and I would get a room on the ground floor so we could sneak my dog through the window to stay with us (5-8 of us in one room) in the room. You could get in the elevator, press any floor and when you got there, there were people partying in the halls, music blaring from the rooms and you could walk into any number of rooms and join the fun. The casino was also full of tie dyed folks at the tables, slot machines and in the bars. I remember in 81 a crowd around Phil at the nickel slots cheering every time the machine paid off. I will never forget, in '83, the scene in one of the bars, where they had a revue with showgirls in their sequined, skimpy cowboy outfits dancing on stage and several dozen Deadheads in the crowd whooping and dancing along with them. The theatre held about 8,000 people and had bright orange seats. The shows themselves, while not spectacular, were very fun and provided some great highlights (a great Dew, a split Other One, the fastest Eyes I ever saw and many other great moments) and it was nice to know that you didn't have to worry about driving or getting home, we were already there!! After the shows (again unlike other shows where people basically dispersed to their various hotels/crash pads), we all gathered in the casino and rooms and continued the party until early in the AM. In '83 & '84 we left Vegas at about 6am with no sleep to get to Irvine. In the 90's I attended the Sam Boyd shows, but it is a much larger venue and, of course people were scattered all over Vegas so there was no central area for us all to party and hang out after and the scene was never the same.

The Aladdin is one of the unique hotels/casinos in Vegas and it holds some great memories for me and thousands of Deadheads. I, for one, am sad to see a treasured GD venue become just one more corporate clone in a city that already has too many of them.


This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2007-02-07 00:12:33

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Poster: Fishead Date: Feb 7, 2007 8:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

that sucks ...i caught the radiators /hot tuna there back in 1995 ...what a great little theatre to see shows ..never caught any dead shows there but just being in there it felt like i did....always dug the 1984 aladdin show..great bertha>greatestory

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 6, 2007 2:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

I'm a little foggy-were you a Vegas resident back during the glory days of the Aladdin shows? If so, and I know this sounds a little vague, did you know a Head named Hippie Joe?

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Feb 6, 2007 3:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

No I was not, nor ever have been, a Vegas Resident, at the time I was living in Boulder, Co going to school at CU. That's one reason I loved the Aladdin shows so much, with so few in town Heads (and I know there were some), this was the closest thing to a Deadhead convention that I ever witnessed. Everyone was in one place and stayed in the same hotel, so the event started the morning of the show when everyone arrived and checked in and lasted until the next morning at check out. the crowd did not disperse and go their seperate ways after the show. It was 8,000 Deadheads at one continuous party.

And to answer your question, I did know a few Vegas Heads, but I do not recall Hippie Joe.

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2007-02-06 23:23:07

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 6, 2007 6:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

Well, thank you---for (telling us about) a real good time.

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Poster: cush11 Date: Feb 6, 2007 6:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

Indeed those were fun days and nights... The auditorium emptied right into the casino! What a sight to behold! I never did have my own room there but did stay a few times ;) '84 was my 32nd birthday! Like puplegel said, so so shows, but a ton of fun and memories in LV. Then off to Irvine for more GD and Mom's homecooking. Always was a nice way to thaw out after a winter in the Wasatch!!!

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Poster: high flow Date: Feb 6, 2007 6:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

"...'84 was my 32nd birthday!"

Watch-out Cush! Some of us CAN handle simple math...

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Poster: cush11 Date: Feb 6, 2007 6:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

without a calculator even?!?!?!

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Poster: high flow Date: Feb 6, 2007 6:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

Does my abacus count? Oh yeah, it does count. That's ALL it does.

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Poster: cush11 Date: Feb 6, 2007 6:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

And the beads are fun to play with...

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Poster: Steve Jerman Date: Feb 6, 2007 7:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

" (in)a much larger venue and, of course people were scattered all over Vegas so there was no central area for us all to party and hang out after and the scene was never the same."

Excellent observations. I don't know which was more amusing the crowd or the carpets in that place.


But it really was a great example being before the cusp of over-popularity.

I remember the crowd funneling out after the show and taking over the hotel's typical 'Vegas' lounge. Tie-dyes blending with polyeter jump suits. That act in that lounge never had such an audience (anyone who says the fans in that day were anything less than gracious would be wrong.)

Later that night the bar looked like a sea of green Heineken bottles.

I should know because I was right in front of it - beleive it or not - selling my "Las Vegas: Last Fair Deal in the Country" T-shirts off of an empty 21 table until 5:00 on the morning.

I'd like to see that in this day and age.

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Poster: cush11 Date: Feb 6, 2007 8:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The demise of the Aladdin Hotel!!

And you wouldn't take the 4 bucks and change I was offering either...

Just kidding, I don't remember you, but I couldn't resist. It was QUITE the scsene though... Kodak moments of the mind... ;)